The show was groundbreaking at the time, depicting working-class people in light comedy instead of serious social drama as was the norm. It also differed significantly from Hancocks Half Hour and other sitcoms, which featured comedians effectively playing themselves: Brambell and Corbett were real actors whose marvellous chemistry helped ensure the shows longevity. In our modern throwaway culture, Steptoe and Son provides a window into a bygone era, when men with horses and carts routinely patrolled the streets recycling junk, without the need for government incentives or environmental pressure.
On the DVD: Steptoe and Son, Series 1 has six episodes on one disc. The black and white picture shows its age quite badly, and the mono sound is equally fuzzy in places. There are no extras, which is a shame, as Galton and Simpson could surely have provided an illuminating commentary track. --Mark Walker
We tend to think that that modern sit coms such as The Office are "out there" compared to the older ones, however Steptoe was the bravest sit com ever made from it's tone, language and the evil old Albert (making David Brent appear a cuddly teddy bear) to the choice of real actors rather than comedians. It's because of this that it still repays viewing today. Ignore the black and white, the mono sound, it doesn't matter, it's still the best British sitcom ever made.
The performances from Wilfred Brambell & Harry H Corbett are superb. As each episode goes on you feel more and more sorry for Harold and realise just how dirty and coniving his father, Albert, is. The relationship between these to characters never seems unrealistic and you can always understand why Harold can never leave the world he's trapped in by his father.
Aswell as great performances the script and plot are always brilliantly structured and just reinforces the status of Galton & Simpson as one of the best comedy writing duos on television.
The first episode alone, in my opinion, would be ground breaking stuff it was made nowadays. I've never known a sitcom to have a first episode that makes your heart go out to a character so soon. And right through to the last episode you'll be laughing and crying at this superb sitcom.
So I'd say buy this as it is one I could never get bored of. The picture quality is as good as possible but seriously when you get stuck in, like any good comedy, you forget it's black and white and you live it. So buy this and please BBC release the others!
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